Doval discusses 'future direction' of Indo-US ties with Pompeo, Mattis
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval yesterday held "broad-based" talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and his American counterpart John Bolton during which they discussed the "future direction" of the strategic Indo-US ties. Doval's meeting with the three officials came a week after the successful India-US 2+2 Dialogue between the Defense and Foreign Ministers of the two countries.
This was Doval's first meeting with Bolton
Doval had met Pompeo and Mattis in New Delhi last week too. "During the three back-to-back meetings, Doval had good chance to review the entire bilateral relationship after the 2+2 talks. They build upon the discussion in New Delhi last week," informed sources said. Notably, this was Doval's first meeting with Bolton, the new National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.
Talks included regional issues, global development
India's Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, accompanied Doval in these meetings. Describing it "as a very broad-based discussion," the sources said regional issues and global developments too figured in the talks. The US Ambassador to India, Ken Juster, in a tweet said that the last week's 2+2 Dialogue "set the course for even closer ties" between the two countries.
COMCASA to allow India receive military communications equipment from US
India and the US signed the landmark Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA) after the 2+2 talks External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had with Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mattis on September 6. The COMCASA will allow India to receive high-end military communications equipment from the US and will also help get real-time encrypted information from the US.
2+2 Dialogue reaffirmed the strength of India-US relationship: US
During the 2+2 talks, India and the US also expressed a commitment to work together and in concert with other partners toward advancing a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. Early this week, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells told a Washington audience that the 2+2 significance was that it reaffirmed the strength of the India-US relationship.
US says it looks forward to deepening the cooperation
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense David F Helvey said the biggest thing that has come out of the 2+2 talks is that it puts the US-India relationship and the defense relationship in particular on a higher trajectory. "We look forward to deepening the cooperation as two strategic partners as we work together to have a safe, secure and free Indo-Pacific region," he said.